The Evangelical Did It, in the Kitchen, with the Lead Pipe

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Check out this commentary by writer Bob Bonebrake, author of King of America on the portrayal of Christians in the media. Well worth reading:

It’s easy to spot the evangelicals in the movies these days. They’re the ones wearing the black hats.  We seem to be well into the era of the Christian bad guy.  Like the killer monk in The Da Vinci Code, more and more conservative Christians are being cast as the villains in popular fiction and political comment these days.  I’ve recently seen a host of television dramas with hypocritical ministers and priests revealed as

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A Great Idea for Getting News Coverage

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Here’s one of the most effective ways to get noticed by local media and generate positive press coverage:  Take a reporter out to lunch.  That’s right. Simple as that. Chances are in your town, you have newspaper, radio, or TV reporters who cover the subject you’re involved in. If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, someone’s covering the religious beat. If you’re a musician, writer, or artist, some reporter is covering the culture, media, or entertainment beat. There’s business and sports sections in every local paper. Whatever you do for a living, chances are, the local news outlets are covering it. We spend endless hours complaining that we don’t get coverage for our new album, movie, ministry outreach, product launch, or whatever – when the truth is,

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Life’s Loaded Question: Do We Really Have a Destiny?

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The issue of destiny is loaded question. Nearly everyone wants to believe in the concept. Atheists may believe that there’s no God, no purpose, and no point to life, but it’s pretty tough living that philosophy out in the day-to-day trenches. The idea of destiny gives us a reason to go on, motivation that our lives matter beyond PTA meetings, job reviews, and visits to the local coffee shop. The Christian tradition teaches that God has a purpose and plan for our lives. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we have a

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What I Learned About Productivity From Moving from New York to Los Angeles

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I’m writing this after an exhausting day packing a rental van for moving. Our daughter and son-in-law Kelsey and Chris have been living in New York City for the last 5 years performing regularly in musical theater. A few months ago they came back to LA for television’s “pilot season” and so many opportunities happened, they decided that it might be better to be based in Los Angeles and commute to New York for various projects. So Kathleen and I flew up last week to

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What’s So Offensive About Proselytizing?

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Everywhere you go these days people are complaining about proselytizers. “Don’t shove your views on me.” “Don’t tell me what you believe.” Some people have even been sued over it. But it’s interesting that the complaint only seems to happen when it comes to religion (specifically Christianity.) When you tell someone about why you love your new car, or why the new diet is changing your life, they’re happy to hear it.  And nobody complains when someone thinks Islam or Buddhism is wonderful.  But when Christianity transforms your life,

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Branding Is Not A Religion

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Since I wrote my book “Branding Faith” a number of years ago to address how branding applies to religious and nonprofit organizations, I’ve been amazed at the number of branding companies that have popped up specifically to work with churches.  Many of these companies are very good and doing excellent work.  But I’m also finding that for many, “branding” has become a religion.  I got a call from a religious ministry the other day who said, “We’ve just spent

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When Branding Kills

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Branding any organization, product, or even person is critical.  Hey – I wrote the book on it.  I released “Branding Faith: Why Some Churches and Nonprofits Impact Culture and Others Don’t” because I saw so many confused organizations, unable to really share their story or vision with their customers, donors, or the general public.  After all, if you don’t know your own reason for being, you can’t expect outsiders to figure it out.  But since I released Branding Faith a few years ago, it seems like branding companies have popped up everywhere – particularly in the Christian space.  It’s almost become a

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Why Boycotts Rarely Work

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Although I obviously recoil at those who trivialize our faith, and sympathize with other Christians who feel offense, I’ve always been consistently resistant to boycotts – especially when it’s about Hollywood – for a number of reasons:

First, if boycotts worked, why don’t missionaries do it?  Can you imagine surrounding a tribe in a 3rd world country, criticizing them, calling them names, and boycotting them?  Would that actually change their behavior?  No.  The key to success in missions is to develop a relationship of trust, become one of them, and then share your faith.  Instead of always criticizing, what if we did that to Hollywood?

Second, I have yet to meet a single person who has accepted Christ as a result of a boycott or petition drive.

Third, as a strategy, boycotts are incredibly risky.  In most cases, they backfire and actually work against you.  For instance, during the last Christian boycott of Walt Disney Studios, Disney profits actually went up and they experienced record sales.

Fourth, I’m one of thousands of dedicated believers working inside Hollywood trying to make change happen from the inside.  When Christians criticize Hollywood from the outside, it makes it very difficult for us to make a difference.

Fifth, “petitions” generated from direct mail campaigns rarely work.  Christians in the industry will tell you that when networks receive packages of these orchestrated petitions, they usually toss them in the trash.  Want to know what works?  Original, individual, considerate letters from concerned viewers.  Those letters get noticed.

Sixth, in my experience, boycotts make very little change happen, but they raise a great deal of money for the organizations behind them.  For the most part, I believe the real reason for these petition drives and boycotts are simply fundraising strategies.

What do you think?  I’d love to know your opinion.

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